Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Director Debi Durham recently joined officials from MidAmerican Energy and Mills Economic Development Foundation to commemorate the certification of Mills Crossing through IEDA’s Certified Sites Program. This is the state’s second mega site to be certified and the first located in western Iowa.
“Having certified sites gives us a tremendous advantage in attracting new development opportunities,” said Debi Durham, executive director of IEDA and the Iowa Finance Authority. “The mega site is uniquely suited to companies requiring substantial infrastructure, such as automotive manufacturers and other large-scale industries, making Iowa an attractive location for these larger projects.”
The Mills Crossing site, developed by MidAmerican Energy, is located on a BNSF Railway dual track main line and is minutes from I-29 and I-80 via four-lane U.S. Highway 34. The site has approximately 1,641 acres, including 1,338 contiguous, developable acres. As a certified mega site, Mills Crossing offers prospective users a strategic advantage for rapid development, access to a population center of one million-plus people and a centralized location in the U.S. connected to markets and ports throughout the country.
“MidAmerican is a leader in renewable energy development and that’s a differentiator for global companies that have their own aggressive sustainability targets to reach,” Kathryn Kunert, MidAmerican’s vice president of economic integration and connections, said. “Having 88.5% of their electricity coming from renewable sources at no net cost instantly puts any business locating at Mills Crossing ahead of the game.”
Iowa launched the state’s Certified Sites Program in 2012 to address the lack of project-ready industrial sites in the state. It is an independent, third-party program with certification through the nationally recognized site selection firm Quest Site Solutions. Iowa’s rigorous certification process is designed to consider national site location standards, as well as Iowa’s natural assets and the needs of the state’s targeted industry sectors of advanced manufacturing, biosciences and finance and insurance.
Site certification remains one of the fastest growing trends in the site selection business, and by introducing certified sites to the market, Iowa is better able to compete for projects. To date, Iowa has attracted more than $1.3 billion in capital investment due to the availability of these development-ready sites. Certification is a time and cost-savings benefit for end users. It also assures business prospects that site due diligences have been completed and mitigation and infrastructure plans are in place – meaning sites are relatively “risk-free”.
The mega site category is only one of seven within the Iowa’s Certified Sites program. Sites must be comprised of at least 1,000 acres to qualify for “mega site” status. Mills Crossing: Your Green Advantage in American’s Heartland, will join 28 other certified sites located across Iowa, in addition to several sites that are currently working through the various phases of the program.
For more information on Iowa’s Certified Sites Program, visit iowaeda.com/locations.